Thursday, October 18, 2018
Educational Director Lisa Gittelman-Udi welcoming a slithery guest to Hebrew School at last Sunday's Noah's Ark petting zoo.
Mazal tov to Lisa as she celebrates the wedding of her son Adam to Maya Lewin-Berlin
TBE congregants continue to contribute to our community in the most creative ways. Mazal tov to Caroline Temlock Teichman, whose exhibit (see photo above), "Changing Perspectives," is continuing at the gallery of the JCC.
And mazal tov also to bestselling author, TBE's Sarah Darer Littman, whose new young adult novel is out this month. Details on the book launching can be found at the bottom of this O-Gram.
This week's portion is Lech Lecha - the story of Abraham and Sarah's journey to...
Sorry, I've been a bit preoccupied with canines lately.
Anyway, for Abraham, leaving home was the only option. Maimonides mocked the inhabitants of Abraham's hometown, writing in the Mishneh Torah (Laws of Idolatry, chapter 1):
He had no teacher, nor was there anyone to inform him. Rather, he was mired in Ur among the foolish idolaters. His father, mother, and all the people were idol worshipers, and he would worship with them. But his heart was exploring and growing in understanding.
So that's how the world's first Jew also became the world's first Jewish refugee.
This Shabbat we are proud participants in National Refugee Shabbat. See the list of communities around the country who will be participating in this special Shabbat. There are dozens - but we are the only ones in Fairfield County. You can read more about it on the HIAS website. Join us on Friday night and again at Shabbat-in-the-Round on Saturday morning (beginning with breakfast at 9:30).
Welcoming the stranger is a key theme Jewish sources. It was also the theme of last week's Interfaith Seder at Grace Farms. Click here to see the supplement we put together for that Seder.
At services on Passover this year, I dug down into the topic of migration, Jewish values and the Exodus. I shared an excellent source packet, "Immigration in the Haggadah and in Jewish Law" created by Rabbi David Siff, which intersperses Jewish quotes laws from the Middle Ages about migration between communities.
Also see "Loving the Neighbor/Loving the Stranger," a packet by Rabbi David Seidenberg, which includes every Torah law that mentions the stranger.
HIAS explains the rationale behind this effort:
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman